Agricultural drought has now spread to the entire territory of the Czech
Republic, according to scientists and experts affiliated in Intersucho, a
specialised data hub focused on mapping drought in the country.
According to the most recent data 98 percent of Czech territory is now affected by agricultural drought, with 57 percent of land experiencing exceptional or extreme drought, with water lacking even in the deep layers of the soil.
The prolonged period of dry weather has resulted in what experts say is the worst drought in 500 years. Environment Minister Richard Brabec has called an emergency meeting of regional and local officials from across the country for May 12 to work on a joint crisis response strategy.
The Russian embassy has asked for one of its diplomats to be given police
protection. The embassy said in a statement on its Facebook page that one
of its employees had received threats in the wake of media reports about an
alleged “poison plot” against Czech politicians.
The embassy said it had asked the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide the diplomat with police protection and take measures to prevent attacks against him. It said the diplomat was the victim of a “slander campaign” whipped up by the Czech media.
The Czech weekly Respekt reported on April 26 that a Russian agent had allegedly travelled to Prague a few weeks ago with a suitcase containing the highly potent toxin ricin, possibly to be used against Czech politicians who have angered the Kremlin.
The weekly linked the story to earlier reports that the mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hrib and the mayor of Prague 6 Ondřej Kolář, who ordered the removal of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from the district’s premises, had been given police protection.
Prague and Moscow are due to start talks in the coming days to try to defuse growing tension in bilateral relations.
Czech pianist Ivo Kahánek has won his very first BBC Music Magazine Award
in the Concerto category for his recording of concertos by Dvořák and
Martinů with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jakub
Hrůša (Supraphon label).
The CD has garnered critical acclaim from music peers and media since its release last September (BBC Radio 3 Disc of the Week; BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month; Choix de Classique HD).
The BBC Music Magazine Awards pertain solely to classical music and the winners are chosen via public internet polling worldwide.
Face masks will not be obligatory outdoors after May 25 on condition that
people can maintain the social distance requirements of two metres, Health
Minister Adam Vojtěch reported after Monday’s government session.
Face masks will remain obligatory in shops and institutions and closed public spaces with a high risk of transmission such as public transport or taxis.
Vojtěch said the regulation according to which shops, post offices and other services are reserved for people over the age of 65 from 8am till 10am every day, will remain in place for the time being.
Monday has brought a major loosening of coronavirus restrictions in the
Czech Republic, with shops and services, galleries, cinemas, pubs and
restaurants reopening after a break of two months.
Shopping centres, hairdressers, massage and wellness salons have been allowed to reopen under strict hygiene conditions. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are now able to serve clients in outdoor spaces.
Schools have reopened to students facing entrance exams, with a maximum of 15 students in the classroom.
Masses and weddings of up to 100 people are allowed and the country’s castles and chateaus are reopening their doors to visitors.
The government-ordered mandatory service for some medical students in state
run hospitals, old age homes and emergency services ended on Monday, May
The compulsory character of the service stemmed from the state of emergency in the country, and concerned students in their last year of medical school who were asked to assist staff during the coronavirus crisis.
In reality many more than those addressed signed up to help on a voluntary basis in order to be useful and gain experience.
Altogether over 5,500 medical students from faculties around the country helped out, conducting blood tests, questioning patients in a pre-selection process and serving on info lines.
Hotels and accommodation facilities report a steep drop in profit in the
first quarter as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of guests in Czech hotels, boarding houses and camps reached 3.1 million in the first quarter, largely thanks to visitors who arrived in the first two months of the year, before the coronavirus restrictions closed accommodation facilities.
This represents a 22.2 percent drop compared to the same period last year. The number of overnight stays decreased by 16.7 percent year on year to 8.9 million.
The number of German visitors dropped by 17.4 percent as compared to the same period last year, the number of Polish tourists was down by 15 percent, the number of Italians visiting dropped by 40 percent and the number of Chinese and South Korean visitors was down by a half.
According to epidemiologists the biggest danger for a possible setback
currently lies in the reopening of shopping malls, due to the large amount
of people who pass through them daily and the air-conditioning system, and
The government has given operators the green light to renew international rail, road and water transport as of Monday, May 11 and Prague’s main international airport is also renewing some air links.
Czech citizens may now travel abroad for “substantiated reasons“ such as work, to visit relatives or for medical care.
People travelling abroad will have to produce a negative COVID 19 test upon their return or undergo a two week quarantine.
Twenty-eight new coronavirus cases were registered in the country on
Sunday, bringing the overall number of confirmed cases to 8,123, according
to Czech Health Ministry statistics.
The number of newly registered cases per day has remained under 100 for ten days now.
280 people have died, 4,474 have recovered from the disease. 239 people are currently hospitalized with COVID 19, 40 of them are in serious condition.